Contrary to fashionable perception, Switzerland just isn’t all mountains, chocolate and cheese. No, this landlocked nation can be the proper vacation spot for a seashore vacation. Switzerland may not possess a shoreline, however it’s house to the biggest Alpine lake in Europe.
Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French) is the crescent-shaped lake that Switzerland shares with France. Forty-five miles lengthy and somewhat over eight miles at its widest, its waters are so impossibly blue that you simply’d be forgiven for considering you had landed in Greece if it weren’t for the snow-dusted Alps within the distance.
At the lake’s southern tip is Geneva and the start line for a driving route that hugs the northern shoreline by means of the Canton of Vaud area till it reaches the French border some 70 miles later.
Switzerland may not possess a shoreline, however it’s house to the biggest Alpine lake in Europe. Pictured is the seashore and fashionable swimming pool at Bellerive-Plage in Lausanne
Hot rocks: Sunbathers can sit again and easily benefit from the sight of the calm, crystal-clear water
Dotted alongside this street are greater than 100 picture-perfect seashores. Some boast lengthy sweeps of nice sand, others are pocket-sized pebbly bays.
A handful overlook medieval castles and historical vineyards. Some seashores are so hidden away that even the locals have a tough time discovering them. By distinction, seashores alongside the Swiss Riviera, so referred to as for its waterfront vistas and easy-going lake way of life, see a gradual stream of sunseekers throughout the summer season months. So, seize your bathers and prepare to hitch them.
Just half-hour from Geneva is the charming city of Nyon that stands surrounded by historical vineyards on the foot of the Jura Mountains. It’s identified for its Roman columns, fort and enchanting lakefront. Visit on the final Sunday of the month and also you’ll catch the well-known Puces de Nyon, a big and vigorous flea market. Want to remain in a single day? Look no additional than the Hostellerie du 16eme Siecle (16eme.com), the place employees will deal with you want long-lost mates. Doubles price from £156.50 per evening.
Le Plage Communale des Trois-Jetees (Three Jettys Public Beach) is the city’s primary spot for a swim, and is well-established with a manicured garden and a restaurant with tables underneath sea-green awnings.
Those within the know, nonetheless, head for Promenthoux Beach. This magical seashore, simply two miles out of city, is tucked away inside a residential neighbourhood. A protracted stretch of grass offers solution to steps main into the clear lake waters. In the gap stands Chateau de Nyon. A launch and mechanical elevate are positioned to at least one facet of the lake, providing swimmers with mobility wants entry to the water.
At Le Petit Bouchon, the open-air restaurant, contemporary shrimp sizzle on the grill and the bar does a roaring commerce in afternoon cocktails.
It’s 26 miles to Lausanne from Nyon, however don’t rush the journey. Along the way in which you’ll come throughout the medieval village of Saint-Prex, house to arguably probably the most idyllic seashore within the area.
The eponymous seashore is little greater than a sliver of well-worn pebbles sandwiched between a tall hedge and the sun-dappled lake, but it couldn’t be extra stunning. Visit on a balmy summer season’s night and also you’ll spot sun-crinkled locals having fun with a dip adopted by a glass of chilled white wine.
Closer to Lausanne is Beach Preverenges, a welcoming stretch of nice sand flanked by tall cypress bushes. The shallow, calm waters make it fashionable with households.
During the summer season months, the water temperatures hover round 20C (68F), however they will rise up to 24C (75F). The hilly metropolis of Lausanne rises 500 yards from the lake shores, rewarding guests with spectacular views of Lake Geneva from each angle. The city is house to the International Olympic Committee headquarters and the really glorious Olympic Museum.
Island idyll: Chillon Beach is a wonderfully fashioned cove the place you possibly can swim with views of a twelfth Century fort and the Dents du Midi mountains (pictured)
If you need to reside massive – you’re on vacation, in spite of everything – then the elegant five-star Beau-Rivage Palace (brp.ch) stands on the waterfront. Doubles price from £519 per evening.
A brand new swimming platform has been erected at close by Ouchy Beach, permitting quick access to the lake. The fashionable swimming pool at Bellerive-Plage is a brief stroll away. This complicated boasts three huge swimming pools, 4 diving boards, a number of sports activities courts and direct entry to the lake. For a room with a view and a extra pleasant price ticket, attempt the Hotel de la Paix (hoteldelapaix.internet) near the previous city. Doubles from £169 per evening.
The stretch of shore from Lausanne to Montreux is likened by locals to the French Riviera. It’s additionally the place a few of Switzerland’s finest wine is produced, grown alongside steep, terraced vineyards overlooking the lake.
The near-perfect Plage de Lutry sits between Lausanne and Montreux-Vevey. This is a seashore that on a summer season’s day can have you researching home costs within the space. Join the locals leaping off the diving board anchored offshore or rent a stand-up paddle-board and propel your self alongside the serene waters with views of vineyards to at least one facet and the Alps on the opposite.
Make a splash: A brand new swimming platform has been erected at Ouchy Beach, above, permitting quick access to the lake
Afterwards, seize a desk on the easygoing cafe and look ahead to the occasional Belle Epoque paddle steamer to brush previous.
The city of Montreux is known for its annual jazz competition in July, its Mediterranean microclimate and its Belle Epoque buildings. Freddie Mercury lived right here for a time, recording six albums with Queen. A statue of the theatrical frontman stands on the lakeside promenade amongst hanging baskets crammed with technicolour flowers.
Positioned simply offshore is a medieval island fort, Chateau de Chillon. Tucked beneath is Chillon Beach, a wonderfully fashioned cove the place you possibly can swim with views of the twelfth Century fort and the Dents du Midi mountains.
Closer to the neighbouring city of Vevey is Bain de Dames, a neighborhood favorite. Arrive early and spot the swimmers out with their fluorescent-coloured security floats. Turn up within the afternoon and native households can have gathered on the grassy garden for a barbecue. For a chicken’s-eye view of all of it, examine in to the convivial Bon Rivage (bon-rivage.ch) which sits instantly above the seashore. Doubles from £132 per evening.